Volker Hartung

Principal Conductor & Artistic Director of Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra

Volker Hartung looks back on many years of rich experience as a conductor and organizer of complex music events and worldwide concert tours. Born in Cologne, he began playing the viola at the age of nine.

He studied at the Cologne University of Music, then at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, and at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles with Ivan Galamian, Joseph Gingold, and Alan de Veritch.
He studied Chamber music with the Amadeus Quartet in Cologne and the Juilliard Quartet in New York.

Back in Germany, Volker Hartung took conducting lessons with Andreas Brockmann in Wuppertal and with Maestro Sergiu Celibidache in Munich.
From 2005 to 2011, Hartung was Director of Orchestral and Chamber Music Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. He is a member of the European String Teachers' Association in London.

Volker Hartung has been conductor and artistic director of the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra for many years. Maestro Hartung is also a guest conductor of renowned orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stettin Philharmonic, the MDR Kammerphilharmonie Leipzig, the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra in Sofia, the Sinfonica di Roma Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (China).

Since 2015, he has been artistic director of the British Schools Foundation's choral program in Zhuhai, China. In addition to his work as artistic director of the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra, he was music director of the Singapore Academy of Music in 2017-2018.

In 2019, he conducted the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra on an extensive and highly successful world tour in the most important cities of the People's Republic of China.
Maestro Hartung's repertoire is vast: from the classical repertoire to romantic works directed in the purest classical tradition, through other less usual styles such as film music or even tangos. In fact, he has a complete repertoire that continues to grow and that he transmits to his musicians in intense rehearsals and through unforgettable concerts.

Volker Hartung has more than a hundred recordings and videos to discover or rediscover on most media platforms:
YouTube, Spotify and iTunes, AppleMusic, yo.ku.

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Volker Hartung is Principal Conductor of the Cologne New Philharmonic and has appeared with the Orchestra at numerous International Music Festivals and concert tours throughout the world.
Numerous international orchestras as for example the MDR Radio Orchestra Leipzig, the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Bulgarian Philharmonic Orchestra in Sofia, the Philharmonic Orchestra Szczecin, Poland, the Camerata Hamburg, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, have welcomed Hartung as guest conductor.

His many years of experience as an independent orchestra manager have taught him how to form orchestras and make them financially and artistically viable in the face of various obstacles. He is able to perform a very wide ranging, extremely rich repertoire that is unspecialized and often combining different genres, like film and light music with the classical repertory.
His lectures on music history and performance technique are internationally renowned as his concerts in numerous radio and television programs, which last but not least are aired by German Radio & TV as SWR, MDR, WDR, and not to forget his presence on YouTube. He is flexible enough to switch smoothly to other genres, like film and light music.



Volker Hartung assumed the position of Principal Conductor of the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra after his studies in the tradition of German symphonic and operatic repertoire. Under the influence of the conductors Arturo Toscanini, Hermann Abendroth and Sergiu Celibidache, Hartung developed a special understanding of the German, French and Russian musical traditions. 
He was particular impressed by Toscanini and his influence on the American musical scene.
The atmosphere and professionalism of musical training there was taken by Hartung as model for linking the spirituality of European music with the practical discipline and efficiency of the American musical approach.

In his early years he was a solo viola player and chamber musician in professional circles. He then proved his ability as a conductor, artistic director, and orchestra manager. As a result, he has at his disposal an extensive repertory that is continually growing and that he passes on to his musicians in intense rehearsals and unforgettable concert events. In place of the widespread tendency towards specialization, Hartung offers his musicians a comprehensive musical program.
In addition to the historical, dramatic and symphonic traditions of western music, Hartung also devotes his energy to musical theatre and audio-visual media.

Since 2006 due to his international obligations as a guest conductor Volker Hartung withdrew from the operational management of the Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 2006 to 2011 Hartung worked as Head of Orchestra Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.
In 2019 Volker Hartung led his Cologne New Philharmonic in an extensive world tour throughout most important cities in China and abroad.
Besides proceeding as Artistic Director of Cologne New Philharmonic he is worldwide active as guest conductor.